The simplest explanation of bankruptcy is a legal process that involves an individual or company unable to pay its debts.
Filing for bankruptcy is a healthy option to get out of debt and start over. In the United States, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a compelling alternative for wiping off your debts. But, there are drawbacks to filing bankruptcy. For example, the information will be available to the public.
A bankruptcy chapter 7 case number search can be accessed toll-free by calling (866) 222-8029, the Court’s automated Voice Case Information System (VCIS). You can also visit a public access terminal at any divisional office of a Bankruptcy Court.
Good Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers should not encourage you to file bankruptcy fast but will advise on alternatives to bankruptcy. Your best alternative option will be determined by the state of your finances and the nature of your debts.
Alternative options include working out a repayment plan with your creditors or paying off your debts by taking a debt consolidation loan.
Many people hate hearing the word “bankruptcy,” especially if they have too much debt. However, bankruptcy doesn’t have to be a dirty word, and the bankruptcy attorneys who deal with Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 personal bankruptcies are there to help clients rather than make things worse. While some may view bankruptcy as a last resort, and it is, it can also provide a new start for those who have been plagued by debt for too long.
Circumstances for bankruptcy can vary depending upon the type of debt you have and whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Your best bet is to speak with one of the trusted bankruptcy attorneys in your area and discuss what you need. Here are a few things you can expect from a bankruptcy lawyer, along with what you’ll need to know about filing.
1. Know the difference between Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies: Chapter 7 is a liquidation bankruptcy, meaning that your unsecured assets will be sold off to pay your debt. Once those assets are sold, whether or not they pay back your creditors in full, your debt will be absolved. This form of bankruptcy is available to individuals and businesses. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, on the other hand, is available to individuals only and will establish a manageable payment plan to give you the chance to pay off your debt in a limited time frame (usually around three to five years). A bankruptcy attorney should be able to let you know about the details of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 and potentially make recommendations for one or the other.
2. Know the process for bankruptcy: A good bankruptcy attorney should be able to guide you every step of the way through your bankruptcy, so you can stay informed. For instance, he or she should inform you of the costs and length of time it takes to file and complete a bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is considered quicker and easier (but it’s not necessarily a better choice for everyone). It takes around six months to complete and costs about $306 to file. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, however, will cost around $1,200 to $1,500 to file and can take several years to complete, depending up the payment plan chosen.
3. Know how bankruptcy will affect you: Bankruptcy is different for everyone, and it won’t always have the same effects for all who file, either. However, your attorney should let you know about how bankruptcy affects credit: namely, that it can significantly reduce your credit score. It can take up to a decade for a bankruptcy to disappear from a credit report, but it shouldn’t take all that time to increase your credit score. Many bankruptcy attorneys will help their clients reestablish their credit after they have filed.
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